Movies based on video games have always been a gamble when it comes to quality. Most are just mediocre with a tentative connection to the source material, while others are enjoyable in how bad they are.
That hasn’t stopped studios from capitalizing on the ever-growing popularity of the video game medium. This year there are plenty of movies coming out that are either direct adaptations of video games or are inspired by video games in general. Good or bad these upcoming films should make for a fun theater experience.
Tomb Raider – March 16, 2018
Based on the long-running series beginning in 1996 the story follows Laura Croft, a wealthy archeologist who uses her intellect and athletic prowess to hunt for lost treasure across the world. This will be the third Tomb Raider movie as there were two previous movies in 2001 and 2003 staring Angelina Jolie as Laura Croft, but this new film is going to have no connection to those films.
The new movie is based on the 2013 reboot of the video game series that began with a game simply titled Tomb Raider. Alicia Vikander has been cast for the lead, which is considered to be an excellent choice for most of the fan base, and Walton Goggins will be playing the villain Mathias Vogel. An unfortunate omen for the film is the massive negative reaction that Warner Bros. has received for the first poster of the film, which due to a bad Photoshop job makes Vikander look like she has an inhumanly long neck.
Since the controversy the producers have pulled that particular poster from all of their marketing, replacing it with a better one. Hopefully, this isn’t a sign that the movie itself will be shoddily made, but only time will tell.
Rampage – April 20, 2018
A video game with barely any plot must be a lot easier to write than one with established lore and cannon. You can put a few recognizable characters and locations from the game to appease fans while having free reign to write whatever script you want.
This is what I assume the logic was behind New Line Cinema’s decision to adapt arcade game Rampage into a movie. The concept of the game, which was released by Midway in 1986, was a simple one. Pick from three characters, George a giant gorilla, Ralph a giant werewolf, or Lizzie a giant lizard, who were all formerly people but were transformed into monsters by different means, and proceed to destroy as many buildings as possible.
As stated before the writers had a lot of room to make up details to the basic plot of the game. What they’ve come up with is a story that sees a Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) teamed up with a genetic engineer (Naomi Harris) To find a way to save a genital silverback gorilla named George. George has grown in size and flown into a blind rage after being exposed to a failed genetic experiment, and It is soon discovered that a wolf named Ralph, and an alligator named Lizzie were also exposed to the same experiment.
The three proceed to tear across the city fighting each other and destroying everything in their way. While this movie doesn’t seem very deep in theme or plot, it should still be a lot of fun to watch these three monster cause mass destruction, and will most likely be enjoyed by fans of movies like Godzilla and Pacific Rim.
Wreck it Ralph 2 – November 21, 2018
The original Wreck it Ralph released in 2012, was met with favorable reviews from critics and video game fans alike. The film was a fantastic love letter to old arcade games with many famous video game characters like Sonic, Bowser, Qubert, and others making cameos.
With the positive reception the first movie obtained, it is not surprising that a sequel was in the works. All that is know about the plot of the sequel, titled Wreck it Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet, is that it’s going to involve Ralph (John C. Reilly), Vanellope (Sara Silverman), and friends entering the Internet through a Wi-Fi router in the arcade for a new adventure.
Just from the description, it seems the sequel will focus more on parodying the internet than video games, which makes me worry that Wreck it Ralph 2 will become another Emoji Movie. The quality of the first film, however, gives me hope that the second will live up to the excitement fans have for it.
Ready Player one – March 30 2018
Based on the popular book of the same name by Ernest Cline, Ready Player One takes place in the dystopian future of 2045 where most of the people live in slums like towns due to overpopulation, pollution, and corruption. To escape their awful living conditions, many citizens indulge in a virtual reality game called the OASIS.
One of these players is teenager Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) who wants to find the hidden easter egg put in the game by the deceased creator of OASIS, the reward for finding the egg is 500 billion dollars and control of the OASIS. Wade and friends attempt to find the treasure, while a company called Innovative Online Industries sends their players to find the treasure for them.
While the movie looks visually exciting and with Spielberg in the director’s chair it should be well made, but I can’t help feeling hesitant about this film. I’ve never read the book, and most of what I know about it is from people I’ve talked to, some hate it, and some love it, but from what I’ve seen in the trailer it seems to borrow heavily from everything else, and I do mean everything.
The plot looks very similar to books and films like the Hunger Gamers, with rebellious teens fighting against an evil corporation, and the film also borrows from video games and pop culture in general. While it’s cool to see things like, the Iron Giant, Tracer from Overwatch, and the DeLorean, all in one film, I can’t help but feel it’s all too gimmicky and is going to take away from the movie more than it adds. I could be completely wrong; we will just have to wait and see.